World AIDS Day is held on December 1 of each year and is an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, show their support for people living with HIV and to commemorate people who have died from complications related to HIV/AIDS. The first ever World AIDS Day was held in 1988.
GO CARE’s mission is to provide prevention education and direct services to stop the spread of HIV disease and to assist those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. GO CARE will hold a World AIDS Day service December 1, 2014 in Forsythe Park (bandstand area) at 7 pm.
The Louisiana Office of Public Health reports at as of September 30, 2014 there were 1,803 cumulative cases of HIV/AIDS detected in Northeast Louisiana, including 18 pediatric cases. Of these, 766 cumulative deaths have occurred, including 4 pediatric deaths. 1,016 persons are currently living with HIV/AIDS in Northeast Louisiana.
This year a labyrinth will be laid out using lumaries symbolizing each of the 766 deaths due to HIV in our area. Labyrinths have been used for centuries as a means for reflection, mediation, and prayer for individuals. Labyrinths are not mazes. There is one way in and one way out and allows for an individual to walk their own “journey” to the center and back out again.
June 27th is National HIV Testing Day. It is an annual observance to promote HIV testing created in 1995 by the National Association of People with AIDS to spread the “Take the Test, Take Control” message across the country. HIV can affect anyone regardless of age, race/ethnicity, education, or geographic location. Of the estimated 1.1 million people in the United States living with HIV, almost 1 in 6 is unaware of their infection.
As of September 30, 2013 there were a total of 19,087 persons living with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana. The cumulative number of deaths among persons diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, reported to the Louisiana Office of Public Health through September 30, 2013 is 14,666 including 114 deaths among pediatric cases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV as part of routine health care. A HIV test is recommended once a year for people at increased risk-such as gay and bisexual men, injection drug users or people with multiple sex partners. Sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (e.g. every 3 to 6 months). CDC also recommends that pregnant women get tested early in their pregnancy so they can take steps to prevent passing HIV to their babies.
Getting tested for HIV is a smart thing to do. Still, many people refuse to get tested. Some find the idea of getting tested too frightening, even though they will often continue to agonize about whether they’re infected. Others think of testing as unnecessary and hold on to the belief that HIV can’t happen to them. Many times when people get tested, they happily discover their concern was unfounded. The assurance that comes from a negative test result can provide enormous relief. For others, getting tested and learning they are HIV positive is the first important step towards staying healthy.
Advances in medical care for the HIV infected have come a long way over the past several years. People with HIV are living for longer and longer periods of time, remaining healthy, and leading productive lives.
GO CARE founded in 1987, provides free and confidential HIV Testing and Counseling utilizing a rapid tests where results are available in a few as 5 minutes. Walk in are welcomed Monday through Thursday 8 am to 4 pm and until 2 on Fridays. For more information visit our website at www.go-care.org or call 318-325-1092.
National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is a nationwide observance that sheds light on the disease’s impact on women and girls. Every year on March 10, and throughout the month of March, thousands of people, advocacy organizations, and local and state public health officials hosts events and share facts about HIV/AIDS.
HIV/AIDS is a serious public health issue for women and girls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.1 million people in the United States are living with HIV. Of those people, one in four (25%) is a women 13 or older. Here in Northeast Louisiana the percentage of women living with HIV is higher than the national percentage; 32%. Approximately 27,000 women have HIV but do not know they have the disease. Together we can:
- Encourage women and girls to get tested and know their status
- Help decrease the number of women who are HIV positive
- Increase awareness of safe practices to prevent HIV infection
- Help people become aware of the levels of care and treatment
GO CARE encourages all sexually active women and girls over the age of 13 to get tested at least annually. GO CARE offers free HIV testing and counseling Monday through Thursday 8 to 4:30 and Fridays 8 to 2. No appointment is necessary.
Join us Friday March 7, 2014 at Hilton Garden Inn in West Monroe for the 1st annual CARE Auction. The auction will be from 5:30pm-8:30pm and is Open to the Public. This will be a Silent Auction and all proceeds will benefit GO CARE. GO CARE, a non-profit organization, provides HIV supportive and prevention services for Northeast Louisiana. There will be heavy Hors d’oeuvres, cash bar and music. Items include artwork by local artist, vacation travel packages and autographed sport and music memorabilia along with decorative items. To view a listing of items click on 2014 Care Auction tab. The web listing will be updated as more items are received. Payments accepted are Master Card, Visa, Discover, American Express, Cash, and Checks. For more information call our office at (318) 325-1092.
The 25th annual observance of World AIDS Day will take place Sunday, December 1, 2013 with a Candlelight Memorial at the Anna Gray Noe Park, across from St. Francis Medical Center in Monroe. The Candlelight Memorial will open from 6:00p.m. to 8:00p.m. A moment of remembrance will be held at 7:00p.m. within the park. A candle will be lit for every person in the twelve parishes in Northeast Louisiana who has died from HIV complications. As of September 30, 2013, there were reported 722 deaths in this region. The community is invited to come and see the exhibit.
World AIDS Day was first held December 1, 1988 as a day of compassion, hope, solidarity and understanding about AIDS worldwide. It is the only day recognized internationally in memory of those who have lost their lives to this disease and in compassion for those who are living with this disease. It is also about raising awareness, education and fighting prejudice. World AIDS Day reminds people that HIV has not gone and there are still many things to be done.
The theme for World AIDS Day is “Shared Responsibility: Strengthening Results for an AIDS Free Generation. Looking for ways you can take action around World AIDS Day ? Here are a few simple, powerful, and engaging ways:
•Get tested for HIV.
•Talk with your health care provider about your risks for HIV.
Learn about the risk factors for acquiring HIV.
•Decide not to engage in high risk behaviors.
•Practice safer methods to prevent HIV.
•Talk about HIV prevention with family, friends, and colleagues.
The Louisiana Office of Public Health reports that as of September 30, 2013 there were approximately 19,087 persons living with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana. Of that number 30% were women. In Northeast Louisiana, there is a reported 1,007 persons living with HIV/AIDS, with 34% of them being women. Of the 722 deaths that have occurred, four were below the age of 18.
The World AIDS Day Candlelight Memorial at Anna Gray Noe Park is intended to give the community an opportunity to spend time remembering their friends and family members who have died from AIDS and those who are living with HIV/AIDS.
The public is invited to join in World AIDS Day Activities. For additional information, contact Richard Womack, 318-325-1092
Whether positive or negative, it’s important that everyone know their HIV status. If you are HIV positive, an early diagnosis can make a big difference in your health outcomes, including whether your virus progresses to AIDS. According to guidelines from the National Institutes of Health, antiretroviral treatment is recommended for all people living with HIV. If you are negative, continue to take actions to protect yourself. That means using condoms and getting tested regularly.
1 in 5 Americans living with HIV doesn’t know it! Here’s some simple tips to make sure you are getting tested!
SCHEDULE IT – Put a reminder notice on your calendar or smart phone and repeat annually or every six months.
SAME TIME, SAME PLACE – Some people get tested on the same day every year, such as their birthdays, the first day of a new season, anniversary, or other major milestone that are meaningful.
BRING A FRIEND, BE A FRIEND – Getting tested with someone you trust reduces the stress associated with visit and helps facilitate an open dialogue about HIV status. Whether it’s a partner, sibling, or friend, support can be the gift you give each other.
It’s time to bring HIV/AIDS out of the closet. It’s an issue in our lives – a significant issue – and we need to talk about it.
You need to talk with your sexual partners. Whether it’s about getting tested together or discussing your HIV status, find a time and place to have a real conversation where you both feel comfortable and can be open and honest. Consider how you will respond if your find out he/she is positive – or how you will tell him/her if you are. Finding out your partner is HIV positive doesn’t have to change anything. You both just need to take actions to protect one another. That means using condoms.
You need to talk with your health care provider. If you don’t feel comfortable with your health care provider, find one you are able to open up to. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If they don’t bring up testing, you need to. For gay men, the CDC recommends testing at least once a year. GO CARE offers free rapid testing.
You need to talk with your friends. by talking more about HIV/AIDS, we help to confront stigma and misinformation. The more we know about how it affects the lives of those around us, the more we understand the disease. It also shows we care and are there for each other.
A total of 18,947 persons are living with HIV/AIDS in Louisiana; of these individuals, 10,391 persons (55%) have an AIDS diagnosis.
The primary risk factor for new HIV diagnoses in Louisiana is men who have sex with men (MSM). In 2012, of the persons who reported a risk factor, 64% reported being MSM, and an additional 2% reported being MSM and an injection drug user (IDU). As of March 31, 2013, 50% of all people living with HIV infection in Louisiana were MSM.